Company Spotlight: First Response Fire

When screeches and splashes rise up from water in the Salmon River Valley and lakeside jam sessions carry long into the night, it’s summertime in Idaho. There are dozens of signs that the dry heat has settled in, one being the buzz of propellers overhead, hauling buckets through the air towards a nearby wildfire.

Since 2002, one Idaho company has played a crucial role in stopping the fury of summer’s flames: First Response Fire Rescue.

“We deliver equipment and personnel for aerial firefighting,” said First Response Fire Rescue Owner Shannon Horn. “We provide all the support services for mixing and loading fire retardant for fixed wing airplanes and helicopters, and we’re the best in the world at providing this service as well as one of the best fire equipment providers.”

Based in Post Falls, Idaho, First Response Fire Rescue operates out of a 30,000 square foot facility on four acres that are home to the manufacturing of wildland fire suppression supplies, but their reach extends far beyond northern Idaho.

“We support 127 locations in the United States, Canada and across the globe,” said Shannon. “That includes 34 full service bases with crews where we mix the fire retardant on site and load it onto planes, plus we provide the training and staffing for those bases.”

Working closely with the U.S. Forest Service, the Bureau of Land Management, and state departments including the Oregon Department of Forestry and the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, the teams at First Response Fire Rescue are no strangers to the devastation caused by furious flames.

“One of the most memorable experience I’ve had was during the Santa Barbara fires,” said Shannon. “My crews had already been out during a record year and then they made sacrifices during Christmastime to support one of California’s largest wildfires. We were running 24 hours a day. We had nearly everyone in our staff helping.”

Although Shannon and his employees work in an emergency-based business, their goal is to be proactive through constant training and resource preparation, ensuring they can respond quickly to needs in North America, Australia, Chile, Columbia, Europe, France and more.

“What we’re about is quality,” said Shannon. “We’re about quality products and exceptional response.”

Shannon’s decades of experience in the industry have clearly made First Response Fire Rescue a vital player when it comes to suppressing wildfire. As a fire bellows towards homes and threatens lives, quality products and exceptional response are the keys to saving those in its way.

Visit First Response Fire Rescue at 5980 East Commerce Loop, Post Falls, Idaho 83854 or at their home on the web, https://www.frfire.com.

 

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Company Spotlight: Lactalis American Group

Mascarpone: while you may not be able to pronounce or spell it, you can appreciate how it elevates a fresh slice of tiramisu. Want to truly sweeten the experience? Go for the tub made fresh at Lactalis American Group in Nampa, Idaho.

“It’s made from simple, great ingredients that we have here locally,” said Sebastien Gilbert, the Nampa site director for Lactalis American Group. “It’s dairy without a bunch of fillers.”

In addition to award-winning mascarpone, the 326,000-square-foot plant in Nampa produces string cheese, shredded cheese, mozzarella and fresh mozzarella, cream cheese, snack cheese, and whey protein. It is the largest Lactalis plant in the United States, and there’s a reason for that.

“Idaho is number three in the country in terms of milk supply, so having Lactalis here is a good fit,” said Sebastien.

Approximately 95% of all milk processed at the Nampa plant comes from Idaho producers. In fact, Lactalis American Group purchases milk from nearly 300 Idaho dairy farmers throughout the Treasure and Magic Valleys each year.

“Our milk suppliers are on average 25 miles away from the plant,” said Sebastien. “Lactalis has worked with some of these dairy farmers for more than 20 years.”

With relationships like that, it’s no surprise that Lactalis is the number one dairy company in the world with an annual revenue of over $21 billion. Although the third-generation, family-owned company has a lot to celebrate, its culture is far from boisterous.

“It’s a kind of quiet pride here,” said Sebastien. “People have stayed with the company for a very long time and risen through the ranks. I truly believe in the culture here.”

Diving headfirst into hard work, more than 700 employees at the Nampa plant play pivotal roles in perfecting and manufacturing dairy products for brands like Galbani and Lactowell among others. While the production process for Lactalis cheese has stayed consistent over the years, Sebastien emphasizes that the company maintains an entrepreneurial spirit; one he hopes will continue to attract more employees.

“Boise is already an attractive area, so now I must simply continue to work to bring people who are here into Lactalis,” said Sebastien. “Besides, it’s different than working at a manufacturing company for something like shoes. Everyone likes cheese.”

Since the early 1980s, Lactalis American Group has brought consumers across the U.S. the best products dairy has to offer. After years of unassuming wins, the company is ready to share its story, and Idaho is an essential part of it.

Learn more about Lactalis American Group by visiting http://lactalisamericangroup.com/, and keep up with the latest from Lactalis American Group by following the company on LinkedIn

 

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Company Spotlight: Black Sage

During Thanksgiving week, 2017, a drone buzzed over Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California, dropping leaflets onto a crowd as they watched the San Francisco 49ers take on the Seattle Seahawks. Later that afternoon, fans attending a football game between the Oakland Raiders and Denver Broncos were also caught by surprise when leaflets rained down on them from that same drone as it zipped through the Oakland-Alameda County Stadium in Oakland, California.

A piece of paper cascading down from the sky may not seem dangerous on its own, but the increased threat caused by a drone’s ability to infiltrate crowded areas and deposit propaganda, toxic chemicals or explosives is a modern-day reality.

Unless Black Sage is around.

“We’re the people that keep drones out of places they shouldn’t be, like military bases, airports, prisons, stadiums, power substations, bridges, political rallies and concerts,” said Dirk Manley, Black Sage’s international business development manager. “Basically, anywhere there’s a lot of people where a drone can come in and do damage.”

Boise-based Black Sage began when its founders, Ross Lamm and Dave Romero, devised a plan to reduce nighttime highway accidents involving animals. By implementing their accurate detection system that would trigger lights when large game entered the road, collisions in the highway test area dropped to zero. Since then, they’ve moved from the road to the sky.

“Our company started five years ago, and we were one of the first in the world to be an exclusive counter-unmanned-aerial-system company,” said Dirk.

Effective counter-UAS isn’t achieved with a single magic bullet. Instead, Black Sage uses a layered approach to ensure efficiency. For them, counterterrorism looks something like this:

  1. Early Warning: The passive sensor, which essentially listens for the communication of the drone to its controller, is the first line of defense.
  2. Detect: A radar detects a target and begins to gather a variety of data points including speed, velocity, heading and altitude.
  3. Identify: The data points are run through a trained algorithm that determines whether the radar is detecting a critical target like a drone or something harmless like a bird. The data points are also used to cue the camera to the object.
  4. Track: The radar detection queues a high-definition camera, allowing a tech to follow the object of interest. At the same time, the radar tracks are plotted on the DefenceOS mapping interface, so the operator can see the object’s movement in real-time.
  5. Defeat: Once the drone enters a pre-determined geofence, jammers can disable the connection to its controller, prompting the drone to enter safety mode and either lower to the ground or return to its point of origin. Since jamming is illegal in the United States, Black Sage only uses this option for specific clients, including those overseas.

For such a high-tech solution to UAS threats, it’s easy to assume the Black Sage staff is a curated group of engineers, computer scientists and James Bond types, and James Bond types. While Black Sage does have a few of those on hand, the brains, beauty and brawn behind the company include winery owners, river guides, startup founders, sports promoters and trainers.

“We’re not just a tech company,” said Dirk. “There are all these other things we do outside of Black Sage that make us a well-rounded business that people want to work with.”

As Black Sage continues to expand, its military, police and U.S. government revenue streams are complemented with counter-UAS solutions for events, stadiums and large events.

“We don’t just do business in Idaho,” said Dirk. “But trade shows like the Paris Airshow, Avalon, Farnborogh and Expo Seguridad allow us to share a booth with other Idaho companies and sometimes we even walk away with new collaborative partnerships.”

For companies like Black Sage, international trade shows are more accessible through the State Trade Expansion Program whose funds will pay for the cost of booth space and construction of the trade show pavilion, plus airfare and lodging stipends for an employee.

While the international market is full of opportunity, Black Sage knows there’s plenty of ground to cover domestically, too. From prisons to football games, and film sets to inaugurations, their mission to detect and defend remains steadfast.

Learn more about Black Sage at their home on the web: https://www.blacksagetech.com.

Company Spotlight: Mondo Fly Fishing

Leather suspenders, a wool button-down shirt, khakis, a beige bucket hat and a wicker fish basket. With the addition of a rod and reel, this is the stereotypical uniform of a fly fisherman channeling “A River Runs Through It.” Unless you’re Taylor Barlow or Levi Gephart, owners of Mondo Fly Fishing.

“I was tired of being spoon-fed a narrative about what fly fishing is, what fly fishing isn’t and what fly fishing must never become,” said Taylor. “I’ve watched a lot of people get turned off by the stuffy exclusive vibe that flows through this industry. I wanted to craft a more inclusive narrative while bringing sick gear to the people on the periphery of the sport.”

And sick gear he delivered.

Mondo Fly Fishing fuses art and color into high performance rods and reels, without the premium price. Taylor and Levi regularly collaborate with artists, designers and photographers to keep their gear unique and expressive, but their product offerings don’t stop at casting equipment. In addition to their “dead sexy” purple flow cannon, Levi’s current favorite product is a shirt featuring a guy in a drift boat, relaxed and enjoying a sunset, at one with the environment around him.

“We didn’t try to reinvent the wheel,” said Levi. “What we did instead was create vivid colors and a line that’s more welcoming to somebody who wants a custom feel for the equipment they’re using.”

Engaging customers through vibrant product is only a fraction of what the Mondo team does. Last spring, Taylor and Levi held the first Mondo campout with friends and even strangers who wanted to experience fly fishing. In a similarly laid-back environment, Mondo hosts an “Iron Fly” event where people are invited to learn how to tie flies in a bar-like atmosphere.

“We’re less focused on the sport and more focused on the good time,” said Taylor. “Our mantra is ‘less egos, more amigos.’”

Levi, Taylor and dedicated Mondo customers agree: fly fishing is more than stodgy stereotypes.

“Getting out and doing things, being engaged in your surroundings, it makes people come alive,” said Levi. “There’s more to life than just sitting around and doing mundane day-to-day work, and fly fishing is part of that. Fly fishing saves lives.”

 

Want to learn more about Mondo Fly Fishing? Visit their profile on the Tested in Idaho website or explore Mondo’s official home on the web.

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Company Spotlight: TLK Dairy

If you’re into the smell of manure, you won’t find it at TLK Dairy. If something about a dirty pen or a cramped facility really makes you smile, steer clear of TLK. This is not your average dairy.

“We take pride in keeping our facility clean,” said Terry Ketterling, owner of TLK Dairy. “We produce food for people, so we want to make sure that no one has questions about how and why we do what we do.”

TLK Dairy

What do they do exactly? TLK Dairy is a family-owned dairy in Mountain Home, Idaho, with nearly 10,700 milking cows and 22,000 cows total.

Before the birth of their dairy operation, the Ketterling family farm grew sugar beets. To diversify, the farm expanded to hay and alfalfa. With a vision of sustainability, Terry decided to start a dairy that would consume those products and produce compost for the fields in what he calls the circle of life.

“We take a lot of pride in the crops we grow because that’s the food the cows eat, and the better quality that is, the better quality the dairy can be,” said Terry.

The family’s vertically-integrated business includes a first-of-its-kind pantry boasting over 70,000 square feet and an internal drop bridge used to fill the commodity bins.

“Mountain Home is known for it’s wind,” said Terry. “When the wind blows, it blows away the feed. When it rains, it washes away. Having everything in the pantry eliminates that shrink.”

The pantry isn’t the only way TLK paves the way for modern dairies. Their calf facility is another unique addition and the only one of its kind in Idaho.

“The calves are living together in pens of nine instead of in hutches,” said Terry. “Cattle are herding animals and we start their life out as a herd rather than putting them in solitary confinement. If I was a calf, I’d want to live in them.”

Calf

Terry’s son Tony, the dairy’s chief operations officer, manages the calf facility and adds that the calves are drier, able to move around, more social and appear stronger. The calves are even blanketed to keep warm.

“They get to run, play and interact,” said Tony. “They’re happy.”

According to Launa Ketterling-Fowler, the dairy’s tourism manager, people have visited TLK from all over the world to admire their innovation. For Terry, those tours play an important role in the future of dairies.

“We open our doors to everyone,” said Terry. “We’ve never turned down a tour. With only about 40,000 dairymen left in the US, we’ve got to tell our story. If not, who will?”

The story of Terry, the Ketterling family and their 150 dedicated employees is full of compassion, ingenuity and community. Their integrity flows through every drop of the nearly 95,000 gallons of milk produced each day. Don’t believe us? See for yourself.

Find TLK at 11400 Southwest TLK Drive, Mountain Home, Idaho, 83647 or follow them on Facebook. For more information on food production in Idaho, visit our key industries page.

 

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Company Spotlight: Sapidyne

If Sapidyne is too difficult to say, try addressing the Boise-based company by the definition of its name instead: an intelligently pleasing force.

Sapidyne Instruments is home to technology with the potential to save pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies billions of dollars. Their primary product, KinExA, is a tool used to measure the binding characteristics of cells, antibodies, proteins, small molecules, DNA, lipids, viruses and more. The research KinExA accomplishes is integral in the development of proper dosing for drugs and medications.

“When a drug is going into clinical trials, pharmaceutical companies have to know how quickly it binds, how much is needed to be effective and how long the drug will remain attached to its target,” said Elizabeth Hopkins, president of Sapidyne. “That’s where KinExA comes in.”

As Sapidyne’s Sales and Marketing Director, Brandon Hopkins, describes it, their products fit into the research and development phase of new therapeutic drugs and helps to accurately determine dosing before entering human trials.

“The science we use is important in the research of new drug discoveries and we’re on the forefront of that,” said Brandon. “When you can accurately determine that a binding pair will work, you have a better chance of success in future phases of discovery which can ultimately save a company billions of dollars. That’s the importance of an instrument like KinExA.”

The work of Sapidyne Instruments caters to a niche market. They’re a smaller division within larger drug companies like Pfizer. Niche or not, Sapidyne’s products can be found in laboratories across the globe including Boston, San Francisco, Munich, London, China and Japan. KinExA is used in eight of the top 10 pharmaceutical companies in the world.

“It surprises people that we’re over 90% manufactured in Idaho,” said Elizabeth. “We use local products and local machine shops. A hot rod shop in Nampa paints our machines.”

Not only are people surprised that Sapidyne is home grown, they’re also shocked to hear that a company of this size has withstood the test of time.

“Most companies our size get bought out by larger ones, but we’ve stuck around for 25 years focusing on science and customer service,” said Brandon.

The success and longevity of Sapidyne Instruments led to the birth of their subsidiary, Syringa Lab Supplies, in 2011. Syringa does significant sales of laboratory supplies and consumables, including glassware and centrifuge tubes.

If Sapidyne’s work leaves your head spinning with equations, here’s what’s important to know: a large number of prescription drugs used over the last 25 years have passed through KinExA instrumentation developed by Sapidyne. The effectiveness of those drugs has improved the well-being of individuals around the world and that effectiveness was, in part, due to the work of a small team of scientists wearing many different hats, right here in Idaho.

Visit Sapidyne Instruments and Syringa Lab Supplies at 700 West Diamond Street, Boise, Idaho 83705 or at www.sapidyne.com.

 

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Company Spotlight: Jayco

With access to over 35 million acres of public land, including nine national forests, nearly 80% of Idaho residents participate in outdoor recreation each year, making it the perfect testing ground for companies like 50-year-old recreation vehicle manufacturer, Jayco.

Jayco, a division of Thor Industries, has a portfolio that includes single and double axel camping trailers, toy haulers, fifth-wheel travel trailers and motor homes. Their Idaho manufacturing facility in Twin Falls focuses primarily on small to medium-sized conventional travel trailers.

“Everything is built by hand at this facility,” said Troy Preuit, director of manufacturing in Idaho. “There are no robots, no machines – it’s all humans.”

The 240,000 square foot facility in Twin Falls is a far cry from the chicken barn where Jayco founders Lloyd and Bertha Bontrager built the prototype for their first fold-down campers. What started as a small family business has now grown to approximately 4,000 employees with nearly 250 of those employees in Idaho. Despite the growth however, Jayco has stayed in the family.

“Jayco was a family-owned company for the first 48 years of its existence, and members of that family are still heavily involved with the business today.” said Troy. “With the Bontrager family there is a level of commitment to both the employees and customers that I feel sets us apart from other manufacturers in our market.”

In 1970, Jayco offered the first camping trailer with a new axle-independent suspension that provided a smoother ride and easier towing. Since then, their products have continued to advance.

“People expect an RV to be very much like their house,” said Troy. “Similar to the changes we see in home amenities, the connectivity and amount of electronics in these trailers is continually evolving. Even the smallest units are capable of having TVs, stereos, DVD players and USB ports.”

In Twin Falls, those amenities are installed as part of a larger-than-life assembly line where trailers start as a steel frame and move through the manufacturing facility to be walled, wired, sided and customized, churning out up to 30 trailers each day.

“The most important thing for people to understand locally is that we’re different from the rest of the manufacturers in this area,” said Troy. “We have one shift, Monday through Friday, and it’s all built by hand. It’s a fast-paced, focused environment in a very unique industry.”

While Jayco’s Idaho plant is different from other manufacturers in the area, it’s essentially a duplicate of Jayco’s Indiana facility.

“Many RV manufacturers have a presence in the west because the shipment of an RV is very expensive – one truck, one trailer,” explains Troy. “Having a presence in the west allows us to get our product to western dealers and Canada quickly and be more competitive on price.”

Although Jayco runs year-round, the increase in cooler packing and sunscreen purchases around the country is a good indicator their peak sales season is just beginning, and with hundreds of campsites around the state, there’s bound to be a Jayco rolling into an RV spot near you.

To learn more about Jayco or to locate a dealer, visit https://www.jayco.com.

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Company Spotlight: Muscle Donut

A face full of donuts isn’t the secret weapon of a professional athlete. Lean muscles aren’t built from high fat, high sugar, highly-processed foods. For fitness competitor Jackie Melesio, that was a problem.

“I’ve always been into fitness and I’ve always loved donuts,” said Jackie. “When I started doing fitness competitions I realized donuts didn’t fit into my meal plan and it was horrible. I figured there’s got to be a way where you can still eat donuts and be in competition shape. So I started playing in the kitchen with different ingredients to turn a regular recipe into a healthier version.”

Inspired by the necessity of a healthier food without the guilt and discomfort she felt after eating traditional donuts, Jackie invented a “better for you food” now known as Muscle Donut.

“We started with regular donuts made with whole wheat and barley flours, but we saw the demand for gluten free products so we switched to a completely gluten free line and it’s gone great,” said Jackie. “Surprisingly, they actually taste more like a regular donut when they’re gluten free.”

Muscle Donut’s lineup includes flavors like strawberry shortcake, s’mores, Butterfinger caramel and birthday cake. These treats are all natural and free of preservatives, dyes or colors.

“We source our ingredients locally as much as possible because we like to keep our money here and help the local,” said Jackie. “That’s one of the highlights of our products.”

Available for pickup or delivery, the traditional donut isn’t Jackie’s only offering. Protein donut mixes and a protein pancake and waffle mix is also available for purchase with shipping across the United States.

“It’s amazing to me to think that my product is going across the United States,” said Jackie. “It’s crazy to think about and especially now that we’re on Amazon, there’s no limits.”

With only the help of her husband and no prior experience running a business, selling on Amazon and claiming shelf space at local grocers are major milestones for Jackie and the company.

“There’s a lot of work behind the scenes and we’ve done this all by ourselves,” she said. “We had to learn everything from graphic design to how to create your own barcode, to building a website and developing packaging – you name it.”

Jackie emphasizes that life as a small business owner can be a rollercoaster of emotions, but her mission of empowering individuals and families to eat better by providing them with healthy, high quality products, keeps her going. It helps too that she’s operating in one of the most business-friendly states in the country.

“What I love about Idaho is that people are huge supporters of local products,” said Jackie. “Idaho provides an opportunity for people to be in business and offer their products to consumers who really want it.”

Based on Muscle Donut’s growth, the customer do really want it. Satisfy your sweet tooth by following Muscle Donut on Instagram @themuscledonut and visiting their website at www.themuscledonut.com.

 

 

 

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Company Spotlight: Cradlepoint

Most people share the same morning ritual: wake up, roll over, unlock smartphone, tap and scroll. The wireless networks that penetrate nearly every waking moment of society are growing as ubiquitous as ever. Today, consumers expect a connection wherever they go.

“Cellular networks have become very pervasive, very reliable and very fast,” said Todd Krautkremer, chief marketing officer of Cradlepoint. “And that’s why we rely on them more and more in our personal lives, and why they provide tremendous value to business customers.”

Cradlepoint is the home of technology that unlocks the value cellular network capabilities for enterprise and public sector organizations. As the global leader in cloud-delivered LTE and 5G Ready wireless network solutions, Cradlepoint provides its NetCloud service, which includes purpose-built routers, to over 75% of the world’s largest and most prestigious retail brands as well as the top 10 largest U.S. cities and 7 out of the top ten largest police departments. Chances are you’ve crossed paths with a business or public agency today that relies on Cradlepoint without even knowing it.

“We not only create wireless connectivity for brick and mortar sites, but we do it for buses, trucks, police cars, fire trucks, ambulances and even ships,” said Todd. “Here in Boise, the Wi-Fi you get on Valley Transit Authority is connected by Cradlepoint. But not only is there Wi-Fi on metro transit buses, there are point of sale devices for tolls, digital signage, cameras for safety and all of these devices are connected by Cradlepoint over fast and reliable LTE.”

Yes, Cradlepoint’s wireless technology keeps businesses moving seamlessly, but the company’s equipment plays a particularly important role for first responders. Police departments across the nation and around the world, including the Boise Police Department, use Cradlepoint routers in their patrol cars to help keep officers safe while allowing them to be more effective in issuing citations, responding to incidents and processing crime scenes. In San Antonio, the traffic lights are controlled in real time to control the traffic flow, particularly during emergencies. Those lights are connected by Cradlepoint.

There are dozens of emergency service uses for the Cradlepoint technology, but one currently being implemented in Idaho and other states is the connectivity to the the First Responder Network Authority, or FirstNet network.

“The impetus for FirstNet was 9/11,” explained Todd. “During that attack and it’s immediate aftermath, all of the frailties of our mission-critical communication networks were immediately exposed and they compromised our ability to respond at a crucial time in our history.”

FirstNet opens a dedicated wireless lane for first responders, providing them with whatever throughput and bandwidth they need to support their mission. Cradlepoint is one of the first companies in the world to provide a FirstNet-ready solutions and the first to provide a gigabit LTE-capable solution that’s FirstNet certified.

“Not only can we connect first responders to the FirstNet network, but we can do it at gigabit-class speeds,” said Todd. “Since coverage can be the difference between life and death, we also enable agencies to use multiple cellular networks to ensure they are always connected, wherever they are.”

Cradlepoint’s mission is to connect people, places and things everywhere leverage LTE and emerging 5G cellular technology. With brand name customers spanning the globe, many are surprised to hear this company isn’t based in Silicon Valley.

“Having such disruptive technology come from a place like Idaho is intriguing for many, including the new generation of leaders that are attracted to brands with grit and authenticity,” said Todd. “They have an affinity for brands they can relate to and they’re rooting for such companies. We think being here is an asset.”

Cradlepoint recently embraced their Idaho roots in a new way, incorporating mountains into the wireless image on their logo.

“It surprises people that there is a really innovative and disruptive company that is literally transforming the way businesses connect people, places and things, changing how first responders can safely carry out their mission, and playing a role in the massive Internet of Things space,” said Todd. “And it’s based right here in Boise, Idaho.”

From enabling emergency response teams and getting business back online quickly during national disasters like Hurricane Harvey, to ensuring non-stop point of sale connectivity in local coffee shops, Idaho is home to the leader in providing wireless edge solutions that unlock the power of 4G LTE and emerging 5G cellular networks for businesses and public sector agencies throughout the world.

To connect more and wire less with Cradlepoint, visit https://cradlepoint.com.

Company Spotlight: SJX Jet Boats

From remote Alaskan waters to typhoon recovery in the Philippines, touring the turquoise shallows of the South Pacific to skimming down the Clearwater in search of steelhead, SJX Jet Boats is making waves across the globe.

“I’ve got a map in my office that’s speckled with pins and marks where we have boats around the world,” said Steve Stajkowski, owner of SJX Jet Boats. “We’ve got tour boats in Fiji clear to Saudi Arabia, Siberian Russia, clear to Mongolia. We’ve done military contracts in Ecuador and throughout South America.”

There’s a reason these Idaho-made aluminum jet boats can be found in every hemisphere: when it comes to shallow water boating, an SJX Jet Boat is a razor blade among butter knives.

“To be specific, they’re an extreme shallow water tunnel hull aluminum jet boat,” said Steve. “The jet is elevated above the bottom plane of the boat which enables the boat to encounter obstacles without interfering with the jet.”

Steve compares this design to having four-wheel drive on the water.  With the ability to navigate on and over debris and obstacles presented in the shallows, SJX Jet Boats are a unique tool for fisherman and rescue teams alike.

“I remember we were in the Philippines with some of our boats training the local authorities,” Steve recalls. “It wasn’t long after that a typhoon hit the Manilla area and one of our boats was deployed. It was credited to over 1,200 individual rescues.”

Although their footprint is undeniable, SJX Jet Boats began in Northern Idaho, far from Southeast Asia. Steve started in the boating industry right out of high school, working for a boat manufacturer on the weekends where he was given the opportunity to be involved in nearly every aspect of jet boat building.

In 2007, SJX Jet Boats was born and now resides in Orofino, Idaho, with highly-coveted water access right across the highway from their manufacturing facility.

“Orofino is a great place to do business,” said Steve. “The county and the city are helpful and responsive. They recognize that we’re bringing jobs to the community.”

Look for Steve and his team test driving jet boats on the Clearwater, introducing inboard tunnel hulls to international companies, or even on television including shows like the Discovery Channel’s “True North Alaska.”

SJX Jet Boats is located at 10110 US-12, Suite A, Orofino, Idaho 83544 or online at www.sjxjetboats.com.

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